Nancy and I found these geologic wonders in a dry stream on our way to Bryce Canyon. What are they?


These wonderful structures have equally wonderful names. They are armored mudballs. They form when desert rains sends a torrent of water down the dry creek beds. The water rips loose chunks of clay, and carries them along. As the clay bumps into the creek bottom, it is rounded, and it also collects sand and small rocks on its surface. They very quickly wind up as very round balls, covered with a layer of rocky armor. The largest we found was about the size of a golf ball, but they can get much larger.